Mission & History

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, a Catholic and Jesuit university, endeavors to improve the human condition through education and applied psychology.

We pursue this goal through excellence and ethics in teaching, research, and service.

We prepare undergraduate and graduate students to serve diverse populations in a variety of professional roles—as teachers, administrators, human service providers, psychologists, and researchers.

Through research, we seek to advance knowledge in our respective fields to inform policy and improve practice. As teachers, scholars, and learners, we engage in collaborative school and community improvement efforts locally, nationally, and internationally.

What unites our diverse work is the underlying aspiration to enhance the human condition, to expand the human imagination, and to make the world more just.

LSOE teacher with students

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College's first coeducational school on the Chestnut Hill campus, opened its doors on Sept. 22, 1952 to 176 freshmen. Founding Dean Charles F. Donovan, S.J., sought to establish "a good and flourishing school of education" that would "exercise a beneficial influence on education and educational policies in this part of the country."

Prior to the opening of Campion Hall in 1955, the School of Education was located in Gasson Hall. Fr. Donovan was assisted by Marie M. Gearan, an experienced administrator who served as dean of women. 

The Boston College School of Education reached a new level in 1999, when philanthropists Carolyn and Peter Lynch contributed more than $10 million to the University. In recognition of that gift, then the largest individual gift ever made to the University, the School of Education was formally named in their honor in November 2000.

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development has experienced more than 65 years of sustained growth in stature and impact on education and educational policy. It looks forward to continuing to fulfill its mission to enhance the human condition, expand the human imagination, and make the world more just.

Campion Hall

Campion Hall

The advancement of the School of Education at Boston College reached a new level in 1999, when Carolyn and Peter Lynch announced a gift of more than $10 million to the University.

In honor of that gift, at the time the largest ever to the University, the School of Education was named in their honor in official ceremonies in November 2000.

The Lynches, along with BC Trustee Tom Flatley, also funded the highly successful Urban Catholic Teachers Corps, which has trained more than 170 Catholic school teachers in the Boston area through a two-year program that includes practicum training and a graduate degree from the Lynch School.

In the spring of 2010, Carolyn and Peter Lynch furthered their generous commitment with a $10 million gift to launch the Lynch Leadership Academy for early- to mid- career principals from urban Catholic, district public, and charter public schools.

Peter and Carolyn Lynch

Peter and Carolyn Lynch

Carolyn and Peter were married for more than 46 years and have three daughters and six grandchildren. Their daughter Annie graduated from BC’s Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences in 2001.

The impact of the Lynches' philanthropy is far reaching. Through their Lynch Foundation, they were among the first major supporters of City Year, Teach for America, Americares, and Partners in Health. Locally, the Catholic Schools Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Campus School of Boston College, the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Mass Mentoring, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Peabody-Essex Museum are among many organizations that benefitted from their benevolence. Carolyn and Peter are among the leading benefactors in the history of Boston College. 


Peter Lynch '65 is treasurer of the Lynch Foundation and vice chairman of Fidelity Management & Research Company. Peter was the portfolio manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund.

During his tenure, the Fidelity Magellan Fund was the top-ranked general equity fund in the nation. Peter is the author of two best-selling books, One Up on Wall Street and Beating the Street, and co-author of Learn to Earn. His books have been translated into 17 languages.

Peter has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is the recipient of many national and local civic awards. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991, and, in 2009, he was inducted into the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Academy of Distinguished Bostonians. He is a Knight of Malta and was awarded the Order of St. Gregory the Great. Peter has received honorary degrees from 15 colleges and universities, including Boston College in 1995.

Peter Lynch '65

Peter Lynch '65

For the last 24 years, he has served as chairman of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, raising more than $150 million in partial scholarships for children of all faiths and backgrounds living in Greater Boston and attending inner-city Catholic schools. Peter served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


The late Carolyn Lynch was founder, president and CEO of the Lynch Foundation. The daughter of a teacher and school administrator, Carolyn was a tireless advocate on behalf of Catholic schools, inner-city schools, and the teaching profession. She received papal honors in recognition of her commitment to Catholic education.

Carolyn was a firm believer in entrepreneurial investing, which she described as “planting seeds for worthy causes that can take off, be replicated, and provide the maximum good for people in need.” Among the many worthy causes to which she directed the couple’s philanthropic outreach were education, health care, culture, and religion.

Carolyn received four honorary degrees, including from Boston College in 2009. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Lynch

Carolyn Lynch

The Boston College community was deeply saddened by the loss of Carolyn Lynch, who died in October 2015. The Lynch School honors Carolyn's many contributions to education by striving for excellence in living out the mission of the school that bears her name.